Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving at God's House

This less than 3-minute video says a lot about God's love for us and His provision.

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Dancing With Jesus

Know Your Role
By Aria Fischer

It has never ceased to amaze me how incredibly breathtaking a pas de deux is…well, can be. If the roles of the danseur and ballerina are not clearly defined, what is meant to be an incredible feat of strength and beauty turns into a huge, potentially painful mess. Our relationship with God is a lot like a pas de deux. If we are not confident in the grace of our partner, Jesus, and that He is going to catch us after a huge leap of faith, our dancing may not be as powerful as it could be.

The struggle with whether to solely trust in the grace of God or solely operate in faith is ultimately an identity issue. As Andrew relates in his teaching Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith—

The body of Christ is basically divided into two groups: those who emphasize grace (God’s part) and those who emphasize faith (our part). One group preaches that everything is totally up to God. The other group teaches that there are many things that we must do. Both contend that the other group is totally wrong (p. v).

In ballet, this is like asking, “What is my role in this dance?” Another way to phrase this question is, “Who am I?”

When a ballerina is cast as a specific character in a ballet, she does not ask the director to make her what her role already is. Instead, her job is to learn how to become who she has been cast to play; she has a whole persona to learn. While dancers know they are roleplaying, Christians aren’t. However, many believers are still petitioning God to help them become something they already are by His grace. They want to be healed, have peace, be favored, be forgiven, and have blessings—when He already died to accomplish that 2,000 years ago. It is now their part to stretch, balance, and leap through faith as they function in their new role, the one they received the moment they accepted Jesus.

As Andrew mentions in the same teaching, “Grace is what God does for us independent of us” (p. 77). Grace is the persona we have been given in this dance. It is the role our Director gave us to operate in. “Faith reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided for us by grace” (p. 115). Faith is learning how to operate in the role God has already put us in—not only as the healed, favored, and prosperous but also as those who bring healing, favor, and prosperity. That is who we are and what we do.

Learn more about the role you’ve been cast in and how to “stay in character.” Check out Andrew’s Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith teaching. It’s available in many formats: CD series, DVD series, book, study guide, and television broadcast. If this teaching has encouraged you, please share below. You have an amazing role to play in this dance!

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Thanksgiving ... Remembering

Give Thanks ... It's Good For Your Health!
By Lorie Johnson 
CBN News Medical Reporter

Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that we set aside for the purpose of giving thanks. It's a good start, but what if we showed our gratitude throughout the year? We could have better marriages, stronger faith and even better health.

For thousands of years, scripture has been very clear: give thanks. Now health experts are saying the same thing. Dr. David J. Jennings, Jr., Assistant Director of the Psychological Services Center and Assistant Professor at Regent University says scientific research definitively links a persistent sense of gratitude with good physical health.

"Studies have shown that people with a more grateful disposition actually engage in more exercise. They eat better, they take care of themselves better by getting regular physical examinations," he continued, "It's also been shown to be helpful to people who are actually having some kind of physical ailment, actually reduce negative health symptoms and increase sleep."

Grateful people also handle adversity better, experience less P-T-S-D, clinical depression and anxiety.

"Gratitude has been shown to actually help to cope with stress and negative life events, which of course, stress can be a major contributor to physical problems," explained Dr. Jennings. "Stress certainly tends to depress our immune system, makes us more vulnerable to disease, sickness."

As a bonus, Dr. Jennings says showing gratitude towards your spouse strengthens your marriage.

"Research is showing more and more that the quality of our relationships has a tremendous impact on the quality of our health," he explained, "And gratitude has actually been shown to help improve the quality of one's relationship."

Unfortunately, gratitude does not come naturally to most people. Instead most of us have the tendency to focus on what's wrong with our lives, rather than what's right with them. That's why 'Revive Our Hearts' ministry, emphasizes the importance of learning how to develop a grateful attitude and how to practice it until it becomes a habit.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss leads the ministry, which includes the daily, nationally-broadcast radio program, "Revive Our Hearts." She says gratitude starts by confessing to God, "You don't owe me anything good."

"'All I deserved was hell and you've given me so much more. You've given me heaven and eternal life and Christ Jesus and your Holy Spirit,'" she prays, "'Oh Lord, if you never gave me anything else good in this life than having saved me eternally from sin, I am one blessed woman and I will spend eternity giving you thanks.'"

DeMoss says developing a spirit of gratitude is like building a muscle. It takes work.

"Gratitude is, it's supposed to be a lifestyle. It's a habit," she explains, "And unfortunately it gets eclipsed by bad habits: the whining, the complaining, the murmuring, the pointing out things that we wish were different. But we can change that, as we lift our eyes upward off of our circumstances and say 'Lord You are amazing. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.'"

In her book, "Choosing Gratitude," DeMoss recommends making giving thanks a priority for an entire month. She says a great way to do that is by keeping a daily journal, listing things for which your are grateful, both big and small.

"And I found that that discipline helped me to be conscious of, mindful of, things that othewise I might have forgotten, I might not have noticed," she said, "And I think that's why Psalm 103 says 'Forget not all his benefits.'"

While you have your pen out, DeMoss also recommends writing thank-you letters to people who have blessed you.

"It can be emails, it can be texts, I do it that way, too, but I try to write some old-fashioned, long-hand thank-you notes to say 'I'm so grateful that you thought of me, for your kindness, for what you invested in me.' And you'll find if you write that kind of note you'll probably shock some people because it's so rare today."

In addition to writing words of gratitude to God and to others, DeMoss emphasizes voicing gratitude, speaking or singing them, in prayers, songs of praise words to others.

"We're much better at saying what we wish we had, what we have that we wish we didn't have, rather than saying thank you to God and to others for what we do have," she said.

So for better health, make a conscious effort to give thanks...a lot of it...every day. It's not easy, but well worth the effort.

See the original blog post here.

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10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It's that time of year when extra calories lurk around every corner -- frosted cookies at the office, eggnog at your neighbor's, jelly doughnuts for Hanukkah or chocolates in your stocking. All these extras add up.

According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. "Portion control is the key," says Susan Finn, PhD, RD. Finn serves as chairwoman of the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition. "I don't believe you can't eat food that you like -- even indulgences -- but it is the amount you eat," she tells WebMD.

Of course, it's not easy to go on portion patrol when the temptations are endless. That's why WebMD compiled .

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Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website,

Video: Canine Winter Boredom - What To Do

Puppy It's Cold Outside
by Dr. Sarah

What can I do to keep my dog entertained indoors? It’s a question many pet parents will be asking themselves now that cold weather, possibly the worst in many seasons, starts setting in.

Lucky for us, Dr. Sarah is here to show us eight easy ways to eliminate canine boredom. As always, be safe and fight the arctic blast with a blast of fun!

Don’t miss this episode of Pet Talk to keep you, and your pup, entertained for countless hours.  Watch the video now!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

7 Everyday Mistakes on Your Digestive System

7 Everyday Mistakes Can Wreak Havoc on Your Digestive System
by Dan Bischoff

There is nothing more frustrating than a stomach ache on a busy day. Upset tummies distract us from our work, ban us to the bathroom and leave us begging for a cure.

The gut is a sensitive organ made up of millions of nerves, and little things you do every day could be what throw your stomach into chaos. Who knew that when you were trying to be healthy, you were actually dooming your tookus to the toilet?

We’ve found the most common daily habits that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Are you guilty of some of these tummy-turning mistakes?

1. You don’t test your diet

Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, the protein in dairy called casein can still cause unhealthy digestive. And overdosing on beans or fruit can also result in tummy troubles. You won’t know what food is giving you grief until you test it by eliminating the food from your diet and seeing if your symptoms improve. We know you’re scared to find out that your favorite food is now on the do-not-eat list, but it’s worth knowing.

2. You don’t treat your anxiety

The connection between our brain and our stomachs is stronger than many think.

“There is definitely a connection between the brain and the gut,” says Francisco J. Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “The gut is called the little brain—it’s the largest area of nerves outside the brain.”

Your stomach reacts to your brain and daily habits, and it’s incredibly sensitive to any change. When your noggin gets nervous or stressed, it goes into fight or flight mode, signaling your body to do the same. This slows your digestive system to repurpose that energy to other parts of your body. When this happens for a brief moment, you hardly notice, but with chronic anxiety, your digestive system is constantly interrupted.

If you suffer from anxiety, you may experience constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating regularly. Learn how to control your anxiety through deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Some doctors even prescribe antidepressants to help relax the stomachs of anxiety-ridden patients.

3. You skimp on sleep

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, because of stress or other reasons, your body suffers on multiple levels. A lack of sleep can really affect your digestion. When you sleep, your body can evenly appropriate energy to the places that need it most, including your gut. Food is passed through your stomach at the right pace and your hormones and enzymes are recharged, which help you continue to break down food during the day. Robbing your body of this time to regulate can cause you to suffer the consequences the next day.

4. You let stress get the best of you

Chronic anxiety isn’t the only stressor that can affect your gut health. In fact, small, daily stressors can have just as destructive a result. Stress is to blame for many digestive problems, says Dr. Nick Read, chairman of the IBS Network. “It takes blood away from the digestive system, drying up the secretions that help us digest food and also sending the muscles into spasm, hence that stomach ache.”

Stress management is an important skill for many reasons, but keeping your digestive tract in good health should be a primary motivator. To help eliminate daily stressors that could be causing your tummy to overreact, don’t take on more responsibility than you can handle, get comfortable saying “no” to people, and prioritize your responsibilities so you don’t feel overwhelmed. These daily techniques should help you keep stomach aches at bay.

5. You have bad posture

When you slouch or slump at the computer desk all day, you not only put unnecessary pressure on your back and hip muscles, you also compress your digestive system and your lungs. The digestive system is already fairly compact, and compressing your organs makes it difficult for the intestines to pass food properly.

Keep good posture in mind all day, and especially after lunch. Stand and work for 30 minutes after eating if you can to aid digestion. If slouching is a chronic problem for you, try getting a posture chair or back brace that will help you sit upright and well-supported all day.

6. You over-hydrate

Yes, water is very important to drink every day, but over-hydrating can cause just as many issues as not drinking enough water.
“There seems to be a craze that we’ve got to drink three liters of water a day, but it’s a complete scam,” says Dr. Peter Fairclough, a consultant gastroenterologist at the London Clinic. “I see many patients who say they drink this amount, yet they are still constipated.”

Water is absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the large intestine, where the consistency of your stool is determined. Sometimes your body needs more than water to move food through your bowels properly. “Drinking a glass of prune juice could also help ease constipation,” says Fairclough.

7. You use painkillers regularly

Commonly prescribed painkillers, such as codeine and morphine, are known for causing constipation because they stop all signals, not just pain, but the messages that tell the stomach to keep your bowels moving too. Blood pressure drugs and iron supplements have been known to have the same effect.

One of the worse painkillers for your tummy? Ibuprofen. Instead, go for an antispasmodic drug or natural alternative like peppermint oil. And avoid gut-irritating foods such as coffee, fat and chocolate if you have to take any of these medications.


Healthy digestion means not making these 7 common mistakes. It’s important to educate yourself about how the gut functions and test possible foods and medications that could be causing your stomach to suffer.

One of the most important takeaways for maintaining stomach health is to manage your stress. The negative effects of chronic stress are numerous—it ages your skin, deprives you of sleep and aggravates your temper—but perhaps one of the most harmful is how stress affects your gut.

Support your digestive system with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and stress management techniques. You’ll quickly notice that more than just your tummy feels a lot better. You can also aid digestion and promote immunity with Bifidophilus probiotics, a natural immune booster.

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Food Enzymes, Proactazyme and Stomach Comfort 


About Dan Bischoff
Dan is a fanatical health nut who religiously takes supplements every day. And when he's not taking supplements, he's reading just about every health article he can find. He's addicted to NSP's Nature's Harvest, Ionic Minerals, Relief Formula and Chlorophyll ES.

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Receiving Healing

Receiving Healing 
By Cecil Paxton - Cecil & Lisa Paxton Ministries

It's not about us, it is about Jesus, but it is for us!

As Christians when we make receiving from God about us then we are seeing ourselves with a problem needing to be free of it. If this is your way of trying to receive healing from God where you really need Him to heal you because of how bad the problem is, then you are going to experience inconsistency in receiving. In fact you are going to make receiving more difficult than it has to be.

Receiving healing, in a very practical way, is about identifying with the spiritual promise found in Christ instead of identifying with the physical problem in our body in this natural realm we live everyday life in. We must establish within the beliefs of our heart an identity of freedom where we see ourselves free of the problem not seeing ourselves in a position of trying to get free of a problem. This will help to open up our heart to the Holy Spirit where we are ready to receive the manifestation of the healing into the natural realm in which we live.

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